The second and third days of our epic three-day California road trip were slower compare to the first one. Yet, they still offered more than enough travel adventures and surprises.
As I mentioned in the previous blog post, we spent a night in Bridgeport. Our original plan included returning to Mammoth Lakes for another half a day. After that we were supposed to head farther northeast. But the beauty of any road trip especially one through such a diverse state like California is that you can always change your plan. And we gladly did it.
Road Trip through Bridgeport, California
We left our hotel room in Bridgeport at 8:00 a.m. with an intention to spend a few more hours in the town. Map conveniently provided by the hotel showed that the area has a few interesting places. And we were ready to hit California roads once again and explore them.
First thing first, I couldn’t leave Bridgeport without swimming in its hot springs. Again, this was not something new for Roshan. With that being said, our three-day California road trip took us to our first hot spring, just two miles away from the hotel.
From Road Trip to Hot Spring in Bridgeport, California
The road was bumpy and dirty, which made us slow down and drive very slowly. Nevertheless, we still didn’t expect to see people there. It was an early and cold Sunday morning. Who wanted to freeze there so early? But by the time of our arrival, other visitors had already occupied the closest to the road hot springs.
We parked and went in the opposite direction hoping to find other empty spots. Roshan spotted one after just a few minutes of walking. While we were testing the water of this hot spring, a couple with a dog approached it from the opposite side. These hot springs seemed to be really “hot” in this part of California.
Hot Spring Experience
Roshan and Dylan stayed at the hot spring while I raced back to the car to grab towels and put on swimsuit. One lonely restroom near the parking lot worked perfectly for a quick change. Wired by adrenaline rush in anticipation of the warm water of the hot spring, I put on my swimsuit so fast that it even surprised me. Despite the wind and cold weather, I threw on only my jacket on top of the bathing suit and ran back to the hot spring.
Dylan didn’t feel comfortable in a strange for him environment. He was ok during the whole road trip through California, but this place didn’t inspire confidence in him. And as Dylan usually does in such situations, he misbehaved and constantly repeated the word “car”. His way of saying that he wanted to go back to his car seat and kids tunes on the phone.
Roshan managed to pacify Dylan and was hold him allowing me to swim in the hot spring. He had to go second, but changed his mind. Dylan didn’t want to stay at that place at all.
California Road Trip Continued
For the rest of our time at Bridgeport we explored a few more places. The highlight though was our short five-mile road trip up mountains in this part of California. The road was steep and forest was getting denser with elevation. On top of that, the wind was blowing even stronger than before. But the views of the valley down at the bottom of the mountains were worth all the effort. As a nice surprise, it began to snow. But this time big snowflakes not snowy balls from day one of our three-day California road trip were falling down.
South Lake Tahoe
It was almost noon when we left Bridgeport and drove to South Lake Tahoe. Two hours passed before our road trip through California and Nevada following US-395 north took us to the city.
Upon arrival, Roshan quickly checked in at our lodge that looked like a motel and we were ready to explore. Not quiet sure where to go, we started at a beach five minutes away from our home away from home. The weather at South Lake Tahoe though didn’t have any intention to spoil us. It was the coldest place among all destinations on this three-day California road trip. I read somewhere that during this time last year, Lake Tahoe was in full force for spring and summer activities. It was not even close to this level this year.
Emerald Bay State Park
A few more locations and city beaches later, and we were on our way to explore outskirts of South Lake Tahoe. The more we drove, the more we like what we saw outside. Even looking through the car window, you could see how clearer the water was here. All of a sudden, I spotted a small island right in the middle of a bay. It was definitely one of the most beautiful places on our epic three-day California road trip. We drove a little bit farther and stopped at the nearest viewing platform to get a better look of it.
As we learned later, this was Emerald Bay State Park, the crown jewel of Lake Tahoe. The place boasted a few other observation decks that were much less crowded. Due to unseasonably cold weather, going down to the shore especially with a baby was out of the question. Therefore, we spend the rest of the day exploring the place and enjoying nature from the top of the cliffs.
Our three-day road trip through Eastern and Northern California was coming to its end. We had one more destination on our itinerary before heading back to Los Angeles, five and a half hours away.
Road Trip to Sacramento, California
Located just two hours from South Lake Tahoe, Sacramento was our final destinations. I think at this time we didn’t have too many expectations. You have to see the capital of California at least once. And since none of us had been to Sacramento before, we used this three-day California road trip to accomplish this goal.
While the city deserves its own praise and laurels, the two-hour road trip to the capital of California left us in awe. During this couple of hours we experienced all four seasons. Four seasons in the matter of two hours and about 100 miles, was it even possible? It was.
We left South Lake Tahoe in, what it looked and felt like, late fall. About forty minutes later, winter wonderland unexpectedly greeted us with heavy snowfall. It was so beautiful that nothing could stop us from pulling over and playing with that fresh snow. Winter, however, didn’t last long. In about thirty minutes, spring with warm rains took over. By the time, we reached Sacramento, summer was ruling outside. I loved every season of this short California road trip. Roshan still talks about that gorgeous winter wonderland.